Human SNM1B is required for normal cellular response to both DNA interstrand crosslink-inducing agents and ionizing radiation.

PMID 15467758


DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are critical lesions for the mammalian cell since they affect both DNA strands and block transcription and replication. The repair of ICLs in the mammalian cell involves components of different repair pathways such as nucleotide-excision repair and the double-strand break/homologous recombination repair pathways. However, the mechanistic details of mammalian ICL repair have not been fully delineated. We describe here the complete coding sequence and the genomic organization of hSNM1B, one of at least three human homologs of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae PSO2 gene. Depletion of hSNM1B by RNA interference rendered cells hypersensitive to ICL-inducing agents. This requirement for hSNM1B in the cellular response to ICL has been hypothesized before but never experimentally verified. In addition, siRNA knockdown of hSNM1B rendered cells sensitive to ionizing radiation, suggesting the possibility of hSNM1B involvement in homologous recombination repair of double-strand breaks arising as intermediates of ICL repair. Monoubiquitination of FANCD2, a key step in the FANC/BRCA pathway, is not affected in hSNM1B-depleted HeLa cells, indicating that hSNM1B is probably not a part of the Fanconi anemia core complex. Nonetheless, similarities in the phenotype of hSNM1B-depleted cells and cultured cells from patients suffering from Fanconi anemia make hSNM1B a candidate for one of the as yet unidentified Fanconi anemia genes not involved in monoubiquitination of FANCD2.